Fox News to stop airing Trump's controversial immigration ad

Fox News, NBC, Facebook and CNN have all stopped airing the commercial, which some critics have labelled as inflammatory and racist.

  • The 30-second ad shows Luis Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant who killed two policemen, and footage of the migrant caravan.
  • Critics say the ad is racially charged and is meant to conjure fear before the midterm elections.
  • Fox News, typically the most pro-Trump news channel, took some by surprise when it announced it would no longer air the commercial.

Fox News will no longer air an immigration ad created by President Donald Trump's campaign committee that many critics say is inflammatory and racially charged, a company spokesperson said Monday.

"Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network," Marianne Gambelli, president of ad sales for Fox News, said in an email.

Fox News now joins NBC, CNN, and Facebook on the list of companies that have stopped airing the controversial commercial, which first aired about a week before the midterm elections.

"This ad violates Facebook's advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it," Facebook said in a statement, adding that users can still post the video on its platform but it cannot "receive paid distribution." NBC said Monday it would stop airing the "insensitive" commercial across its properties as soon as possible.

The commercial aired less than 20 times across the several media companies, according to Axios:

  • Fox Business: 8 airings
  • Fox News: 6 airings
  • MSNBC: 3 airings
  • NBC: 1 airing

Trump said he was unfamiliar with the controversy surrounding the ad.

"You're telling me something I don't know about," he told reporters Monday. "We have a lot of ads and they certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we're seeing."

He said many things are offensive.

"A lot of things are offensive," he said. "Your questions are offensive a lot of time, so, you know."

Likening the caravan to a gleeful cop-killer

The commercial, which some have compared to the infamous 1988 "Willie Horton" ad created by a campaign for former President George H.W. Bush, features courtroom footage of Luis Bracamontes, a twice-deported illegal immigrant who killed two California police officers in 2014, and videos of the migrant caravan heading for the U.S.-Mexico border.

It's similar to a longer video Trump posted to his Twitter account on Oct. 31.

It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our Country. Vote Republican now! https://t.co/0pWiwCHGbh pic.twitter.com/2crea9HF7G
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018

The subtext of the video is thinly veiled: Americans should fear the caravan, and therefore be tougher on immigration, because migrants are murderous and sadistic, like Bracamontes.

Following their decision to pull the ad, Brad Parscale, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, accused NBC, CNN and Facebook of trying to control "what you see and how you think."

So, @NBCNews @CNN @facebook have chosen to stand with those ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY. Instead of standing with LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and those that follow our laws. The #FakeNewsMedia and #PaloAltoMafia are trying to control what you see and how you think. STOP THE CARAVAN!
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) November 5, 2018

It's unclear whether Parscale now considers Fox News to be part of the #FakeNewsMedia, as he categorized the other media companies, too.

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